It seems that no sequel can capture the original spirit of Victor Fleming's 1939 classic, "The Wizard of Oz". Ever since that movie was released to theaters around the world, it has captured the hearts of children and adults and will continue to do so for years to come. It's a film that stands on its own without the support of followups. Too bad Hollywood doesn't see that. For years, they have tried again and again to create a sequel to the timeless classic and all have failed. A notable example was the 1985 sequel "Return to Oz" which was too dark and unpleasant to be seen as a sequel. In fact, both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel actually heavily criticized it for opening with Dorothy receiving electroshock therapy. Yeah, that actually happened. The reason I bring that movie up is that I think the film "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" is worse. Not only did this movie bore me, but it annoyed me and also left little to be remembered. Here's exactly what happened.
Dorothy Gale (Lea Michele) has seen a shock after a tornado has destroyed the farm of Auntie Em and Uncle Henry and to make matters worse, an appraiser has come to the house to tell them that it is to be condemned and force them to move out. However, we later put that aside until the end of the movie when Dorothy is magically transported to Oz by the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammar) and Coward Lion (James Belushi) telling her that Oz is in trouble due to the evil reign of a Jester (Martin Short) who was the brother to the evil Wicked Witch of the West. Hoping to get to Emerald City to stop this, she and a few friends she comes across including a very smart owl named Wiser (Oliver Platt), a general in a candy kingdom called Marshal Mallow (Hugh Dancy) and a princess of a china kingdom (Megan Hilty) so she can save her friends and stop the evil Jester from causing more terror. Yeah, it's so predictable.
As soon as the film started, I was instantly confused by what this film wanted to be. If it's supposed to be a direct sequel to the classic film, then why is Kansas now in modern times and why do Auntie Em and Uncle Henry look so different? Not only that, it was just dull. Nothing seemed interesting about the story due to its predictable nature. In fact, as soon as the film started I began to pick it up instantly. Here's how some of the scenes go. Dorothy and one of her friends get in trouble in a small kingdom and are about to be punished, then the friend reveals to the people that she is intact Dorothy Gale and they get off scot-free while having another companion join them. What lazy storytelling. The animation is nothing to brag about either. It's okay due to its good character designs and some decent colors, but was rather uninteresting and provided nothing new. I certainly didn't care about whether any of the characters would succeed due to them having nothing to them either. While I do think that Lea Michele is a decent replacement of Judy Garland for Dorothy, the other casting choices were a bit questionable. Though I like Akroyd, Grammar, and Belushi, I certainly don't see them fit to play characters from one of the most beloved movies of all time. Not only that, but the new characters are also not interesting as well. All they are is nice or evil and that's it. No other aspects to them, nothing to set them apart, just a bunch of blank slates. As for the songs, they're some of the most forgettable I've seen in an animated movie in a while. In fact, I completely forgot them immediately after I heard them. To make it more embarrassing, five people worked on the songs with none of them realizing that they don't have any passion put into them. They just left no impact.
In fact, that's what I can describe "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" in a nutshell. It left no impact. It just bored me by giving us a repeated storyline, only okay animation, uninteresting characters, and forgettable songs. If I were you, just stay on the original yellow brick road and only watch the 1939 classic. You surely won't get lost as well as have some fun on the way.